Background: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) by delayed enhancement (DE) enables visualisation of myocardial scarring, but no dedicated studies are available in thalassaemia major.
Objective: To investigate the prevalence, extent, clinical and instrumental correlates of myocardial fibrosis or necrosis by DE CMR in patients with thalassaemia major.
Patients: 115 Patients with thalassaemia major consecutively examined at an MRI laboratory.
Methods: DE images were acquired to quantify myocardial scarring. Myocardial iron overload was determined by multislice multiecho T2*. Cine images were obtained to evaluate biventricular function.
Results: DE areas were present in 28/115 patients (24%). The mean (SD) extent of DE was 3.9 (2.4)%. In 26 patients the location of fibrosis was not specific and patchy distribution was prevalent. Two patients showed transmural DE following coronary distribution. The DE group was significantly older than the no-DE group (31 (7.7) years vs 26 (7.7) years, p = 0.004). No significant relation with heart T2* values and biventricular function was found. A significant correlation was found between the presence of DE and changes in ECG (ECG abnormal in the DE group 22/28 patients and in the no-DE group 30/87 patients; χ2 = 14.9; p<0.001).
Conclusions: In patients with thalassaemia the significant presence of myocardial fibrosis/necrosis seems to be a time-dependent process correlating with cardiovascular risk factors and cardiac complications. Levels of HCV antibodies are significantly higher in the serum of patients with thalassaemia with myocardial fibrosis/necrosis. ECG changes showed a good accuracy in predicting myocardial scarring.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Funding This study was supported by the Italian Foundation “Leonardo Giambrone” and is on behalf of the Society for Thalassemia and Hemoglobinopathies (SOSTE). AP was supported by a grant received from the “Centro per la lotta contro l’infarto” Onlus Fondation.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
See Editorial, p 1646
Ethics approval Approved by the institutional ethics committee of Pisa (study protocol no 34008).
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.